Production of hydrogen for fuel cell: modeling of a bioethanol microreformer coupled to a PEMFC
Tuesday, April 29, 2014: 11:25 AM
Grand Ballroom F-G, lobby level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Marcos DeSouza, Sergio H. B. Faria, Gisella M. Zanin and Flavio F. Moraes, Chemical Engineering Department, State University of Maringa, Maringa, PR, Brazil
Microchannel reactors are miniaturized chemical reactions systems which contain reaction channels with characteristic dimension in the range of 10-500 μm. One possible application for microchannel reactors is the production of hydrogen used in fuel cells to generate electricity for portable equipment. In this paper, we propose to model a microchannel reactor that produces H2 from the reaction of steam reforming of bioethanol. A microchannel reformer is coupled to a hydrogen fuel cell (PEM fuel cell) microstructured that consumes H2 while it is being produced by the reaction of reform. The interface between the PEM fuel cell and the microreformer is made by a hydrogen-permselective membrane. The produced hydrogen permeates through this membrane, ensuring a source of high-purity hydrogen that can be directly utilized in a PEM fuel cell. In addition, the hydrogen removal from the reaction zone by its flow through the membrane dislocates the reaction towards the formation of greater yields of hydrogen. The modeling of this system that operated with an electric potential difference of 0.4 V, resulted in the production of 4.41 mol H2 per mol of ethanol fed into the microreformer. 75.58% of all the H2 produced was consumed by the PEM fuel cell, generating an electric power of 0.12 W per microchannel. Thus, a device containing 225 microchannel generates an electric power of 27 W, and has approximate dimensions of 3 x 3 x 3 cm3 with the advantage of rapid charge by simply completing the compartment reserved for ethanol.